Whether you’re racing for a cause, or looking to challenge yourself,
5Ks are one of the most popular races out there. Race day is quick and
convenient, and at 3.1 miles, almost anyone can complete a 5K with proper
training and the right advice. We asked our personal trainers to share
their top three tips to help you crush your next 5K:
1 -- Wear the right shoes
You wouldn’t step into the batter’s box without the right
bat, would you? A good pair of running shoes is no different. During the
landing portion of your stride, your foot absorbs two to three times your
body weight.And what affects the foot also affects the ankle, knee, hip,
and spine.Therefore, cushioning, flexibility (in the right places), traction,
and stability are vital for an effective run.
2 -- Train for it
If you’re new to running, a progressive training program will get
you safely to the finish line. A fitness specialist or running coach can
help determine your baseline then progress you safely and effectively
based on your timeline and goals.
For the do-it-yourselfers, the safest bet is to begin a walking program,
then slowly progress into jogging. Here’s a basic six week program
that can be adjusted according to your timeframe:
- Start out walking 4-5 days per week, 15 minutes each day
- Progressing 10-20% per week
- Progressing to walking at 45 minutes
- Then add distance with jogging
- Progress at your own pace
Full body strength training 1-3 times per week is ideal to properly activate
and strengthen muscles needed for walking and running (not to mention
3 -- Track your progress
Be sure to use a tracking system like a fit bit or phone to document each
workout and see your progress. There are many great apps that track distance
and time easy to use and motivating when you need it the most.
Experienced runners also suggest:
- The right music to keep you pumped up throughout the race.
- Video yourself running for 30 seconds to correct your form. Movement patterns
that could use correcting include leaning to one side, elevated (shrugged)
shoulders and allowing your feet to spend too much time on the ground.
- Dress as if it’s going to be 20 degrees warmer outside.
With themes from red dresses and superheroes to disco and tutus, 5Ks are
a fun way to stay active and social with friends and family. They are
also a great way to challenge both the novice runner and the veteran.
Click here for a list of upcoming races in and near Baton Rouge.
Jheri Corb, Certified Exercise Physiologist
Baton Rouge General Health and Wellness Center
Phone: (225) 819-1175